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  • Writer's pictureShan Clesceri

Seeking Joy & Passion

While we are battling snow and frigid temperatures, I find joy in knowing that spring is just around the corner, and longer days are coming, along with the wonderful occasion of daylight savings time on March 14th. Yes, I just love losing an hour of sleep!

Did you know that every day can be time for seeking joy? Personally, I find joy in sunshine, time spent with family & friends, a good book or movie, and my hobbies. At work I find joy in implem

enting ways to continue our mission and seeing the excitement on our families’ faces when they realize they can do the hard work and that it is worthwhile. I am an Enneagram 9, which means I love to help others, am compassionate and feel things deeply. I have also learned to be organized. I am blessed and joyful that I have a job that is making a difference!

How do you seek joy? Does it come from serving, providing financial assistance, finding new ways to make a difference? Do you know what your passions are, what your dreams include or how to fulfill your purpose?

Each one of us has purpose and that will look differently for everyone. I am hopeful that you know your purpose or that you are searching to find what that purpose is.

Another passion we have at FPBC is looking to the future to see how we can grow and affect even more change for more families. This would include the ability to grow and strengthen our diversion programs, provide more referral services and to one day purchase our own day center.

We are faithful in our commitment to our mission, and it is our hope that everyone reading this newsletter will join us in that commitment. Here’s to finding joy and passion in helping those families who are experiencing homelessness.


Linda Smith,

Executive Director

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  • Writer's pictureShan Clesceri

As a country, we are experiencing turbulent times that have created uncertainty, fear and a general feeling of being overwhelmed. These same worries and fears exist in Butler County too. Here at Family Promise of Butler County, we too are unsure as to what to say or do and are also feeling sad and overwhelmed. Racism has no place in our society. It is ugly, involves hatred and ruins lives.  Racial injustice plays a significant role in family homelessness. For families of color, lack of quality education prevents them from being able to attend college or even obtain stable employment. Families who live in fear of being targeted also struggle with mental health issues. At Family Promise of Butler County, 49% of the families we serve are of color. This is a major issue across the country and even here in Butler County. So, what can we do to help comfort those who are feeling shut out and heal the wounds of those who have been injured by racism? First and foremost, we need to listen, and educate ourselves on the issues surrounding racism. I know that I don’t know what it feels like to be judged by the color of my skin. So, while I am empathetic to the concerns, I truly don’t understand them. I have decided to have significant conversations with my friends who are of color and to really listen to what they have to say. I am being very intentional with this. I am also reading books and articles that explore this issue. I just finished reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and watched the movie The Hate You Give. Both have given me some great insight. We need to speak out against injustices. Everyone deserves to be heard, and treated fairly, with dignity and respect. Maya Angelou tells us, “Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself, and then stand up for someone else.” This is our time to be courageous and stand up for others. Finally, we must love. By loving others, we can begin to understand what it is like to walk in their shoes, to know how they feel, and then be able to stand with them. Love covers so many obstacles and brings us closer to those around us. I want to encourage each and every one of you to step out of your comfort zone, be courageous and stand up for what’s right. Remember, love wins every time! Blessings! Linda Smith

Executive Director

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  • Writer's pictureShan Clesceri

Our Diversion program launched in a pilot phase on May 1, 2020. It was made possible by a partnership between Family Promise National and Synchrony, a leading consumer financial services company. Family Promise of Butler County was one of ten affiliates throughout the country receiving a $50,000 seed grant from Family Promise National to start the program.

What is diversion? Diversion is helping families at the shelter door find/maintain other non-shelter accommodations until permanent housing can be secured quickly. The program doesn't prevent a family from experiencing homelessness, as the family is already experiencing it, most often doubled-up in the home of family or friends or living in a motel. It does divert a family from shelter to try to avoid that trauma and yet another move/relocation. If the family can negotiate (with our help) to stay where they are for up to 30 days, our goal is to help them secure permanent housing, or a path to it, without any need to bring their children into a shelter stay. What services does the Diversion Program provide? Working with five families at a time, the case manager offers the following:

  • Mediation services with family/friends and/or their landlord to extend permission to stay for up to 30 days;

  • Expediting of applications for public assistance like SNAP (i.e., food stamps), Childcare vouchers, Medicaid etc.;

  • Agency referrals and transportation to secure other services, including health evaluation and treatment (physical/mental), job search, housing search, etc.;

  • Advocacy with landlords to fight through barriers to housing; and

  • Financial assistance to secure permanent housing when needed, including but not limited to first month's rent, security deposit, and/or utility deposits.

At thirty days, a family should either have a permanent housing plan in place and not need shelter, or they are reserved for the next open space in Family Promise's shelter. If they secure permanent housing, they are then engaged in our Family Promise After Care program immediately for up to one year to help retain or improve that housing. Diversion helps families with children avoid the trauma of a shelter stay, while saving shelter capacity for those most in need. This program will have a big impact in preventing additional trauma for those families who are experiencing homelessness, but are not street homeless. To see if your family is eligible for Diversion, call 513-444-2033 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or email us at

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